John Bowe has qualified the #21 OzEmail Falcon in provisional third position after qualifying this afternoon at the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 in Bathurst.

In doing so, flying the flag high for Ford, being the fastest blue oval badge car in the session. Bowe also broke his outright lap record that he set in the corresponding session last year. The Holden's of Greg Murphy and Mark Skaife joining Bowe in the 2 minute 07 second bracket.

"I'm actually a little disappointed because I think we could have gone quicker. When I set my time of 2m 07.99s, I lost three tenths of a second being too cautious through the esses at the top of the mountain," said Bowe.

"I had seen all the dirt and fluid that [David] Besnard had dropped there after spearing off and I wasn't prepared to risk putting our car into a concrete wall, so the result was that we had to settle for third," Bowe concluded.

For Brad Jones, the result means more than a guaranteed start in tomorrow's top ten shootout: "I think we have a real chance to be on the front row after the shootout tomorrow, maybe even pole but what's really satisfying for me is being the fastest Ford team so far at Bathurst."

"We've worked bloody hard in our preparation for the endurance events and my team deserve to be recognised as leaders that they are," Jones concluded.

The white OzEmail Falcon of John Cleland and Andrew Jones also performed strongly. The Scottish ace, Cleland taking the responsibility during the opening qualifying session.

Competing in the lower 50 per cent bracket, the former British touring car champ set the second fastest time, well ahead of some more fancied outfits. His time of 2m 09.42s eventually good enough for a 19th placed start in Sunday's race.

Cleland, extremely complimentary of what he claims as the toughest touring car category in the world, said: "It's actually exactly the same spot that I qualified in 2002 but last year my time was 2m 10.2s."

"It's a huge credit to V8 Supercars and proves just how competitive things are when you go almost a second faster [in the next year] and qualify in the same position," Cleland concluded.

Co-driver, Andrew Jones is excited about the prospects of a top twenty starting position: "When Brad and John [Cleland] finished second at Bathurst in 2001, they qualified 21st, so there's nothing to say that we can't have a great result on Sunday."

 

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